Type
Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition
ISBN 13
978-0073403267

978-0073403267 Chapter 9 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
Module 9
Formats for Letters and Memos
LO 9-1 Apply principles for correct letter formats.
LO 9-2 Apply strategies for professional image creation with
documents and beyond.
LO 9-3 Recognize courtesy titles for correspondence.
LO 9-4 Apply principles for correct memo formats.
Module Overview
Some students already know that letters typically go to people outside
of an organization, while memos are preferred for internal documents.
However, the actual formats for these documents may be less apparent
to them. Format refers to the parts of a document and the way they
are arranged on the page (PP 9-3).
Formats for e-mail are still evolving, but the standards in this module
are applicable for many e-mail systems.
Teaching Tip: Many colleges provide e-mail at little or no cost to students, and
free e-mail is available from various Web companies. However, if you school has a
standardized e-mail system, use it as the basis for instruction in your class.
Encourage students to learn the system, working through its quirks and style
preferences. If it is a widely used system, you might adapt the information here to
using it properly.
Like anything in business, organizational culture and discourse community affect the choice of
format for a document. Therefore, the standards expressed in this module may be different than
those in individual organizations. Nonetheless, students should learn and use these formats for
your course—establishing format standards will help students understand the workings of any
document format, making it easier for them to adapt to new ones.
Teaching Tip: Follow the guidelines in this book for all class documents you
submit to your students and expect students to do the same for documents they
submit to you.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-1
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
In-Class Exercise: Have students collect examples of what they consider
documents formatted well. Let them compare what they’ve found to the principles
in this module. How do they overlap? Where they differ, how might the document
look if book principles were applied? Can even a good document format be made
better? Let students share their findings with the class.
Whats in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 9. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 126
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 141
PowerPoint presentations can be found at our Web page at www.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
Questions (with answers) suitable for quizzes are in the Instructors Test Bank. For student
practice quizzes with answers, see our Web page.
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
How should I set up letters? LO 9-1
Use block and modified block format.
The two most common letter formats are block (sometimes called full
block) and modified block. Figures 9.2 and 9-3 (pp. 128-129) show
examples of each. The primary differences are whether indentations
are used and the location of the date and complimentary close.
As described on PP 9-4 and PP 9-5, components of letters can include
Salutation
Complimentary Close
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-2
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
Teaching Tip: Ask students what is wrong with using a complimentary close like
“Your most humble servant” or “Anxiously awaiting your reply” in business
communication? What might they think about the individual or organization that
uses such a complimentary close?
Mixed Punctuation
Open Punctuation
Subject Line
Reference Line
Enclosures
Teaching Tip: Ask students to consider how important document format is to
them. For instance, if correspondence seems improperly formatted, how seriously
do they take it? If parts are missing, such as a salutation, how do they feel? Do
they have examples of poorly formatted correspondence to share with the class?
Letterhead is preprinted stationery with the organization’s name, logo, address, and phone
number. Though most companies use letterhead, not all students have access to their own.
Therefore, it’s important that students understand to use a return and inside addresses if they are
not using letterhead. Figure 9.4 (p. 131) shows an example for use in class.
In-Class Exercise: Give students 15-20 minutes to create their own letterhead. If
you are in a computer-equipped classroom, let them use available software. If not,
let them draw, however crudely, a freehand version. What’s important is for
students to sense how letterhead may affect spacing on the page. How much of the
top margin disappears? What about the left and right margins? If possible, bring in
examples of various kinds of letterhead, showing students space limitations created
by each.
Copies of other documents can be sent along with the principal document. Cc and bcc denote
computer (or carbon) copies and blind computer copies, respectively.
Second and more pages of letters lack letterhead. Instead, use a header that indicates who the
message is to, page number, and date, as illustrated in Figure 9.5 (p. 133).
Building a professional image, 1 LO 9-2
Block and modified block formats.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-3
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
Many students assume that creating a professional image is mostly about clothing, such as
wearing a conservative suit at a bank or a corporate office, but veteran employees know that a
professional image is suggested by so much more, including how organized they and their desks
are, the kinds of photos and knickknacks they display, and even the music they might listen to.
Use PP 9-9 and PP 9-10 to show students some of the other ways in
which they can demonstrate professionalism on the job:
The way you and your documents look affects the way people
respond to you and to them.
To make your document look professional.
Use good visual impact (◀◀ Module 5).
Edit and proofread to eliminate errors and typos (▶▶
Modules 14 and 15).
Make sure the ink or toner is printing evenly.
Use a standard format.
Of course, standards will differ according to organizational culture,
as well as fads and fashion. The more casual clothing that is
acceptable at the office today can give way to the dressier styles of tomorrow, for instance, or
vice versa. Employees should carefully observe just what is and isn’t possible to see how the
definitions of professionalism evolve.
In-Class Exercise: Give students 10-15 minutes to discuss situations where they
thought someone wasn’t being professional. Was it a specific behavior?
Appearance? Work area? What had they expected or wanted instead? If they could
offer the employee advice, what would it be? Finally, ask students to determine if
the lack of professionalism truly reflected that person’s job performance or just
offended the their sensibilities. What do their answers reveal about the expectations
of customers or coworkers about professionalism?
What courtesy titles should I use? LO 9-3
Use “Ms.” unless a woman has a professional title or prefers a traditional title.
Use “Mr.” unless a man has a professional title.
As described on PP 9-11 through PP 9-13, unless students are on a
first-name basis with the reader, they should use courtesy titles. These
include Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Prof., and Sen. (Complete spellings of the
last two are also common.)
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-4
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
Students should be careful not to assume gender with names such as
Robin, Chris, Francis, Sean, or Lee. In cases where names are not
specific to gender and the writer does not know the reader, use the
complete name (e.g., Dear Chris Crowell). When students know
neither, they can use a job title, general group, or replace the salutation
with a subject line. Students should also bear in mind that names in
cultures other than their own may also carry connotations, including
suggesting gender.
Whenever using a list of names, the names should be expressed in
parallel form.
Teaching Tip: Have students ever received
correspondence that assumed the wrong gender? Or that
they were married when they were single? Or that used the wrong courtesy title?
How did the mistake make them feel? What did they think about the individual or
organization that sent the correspondence? Have students bring examples they may
have to class and share.
In-Class Exercise: As a group, have students brainstorm as many names as
possible whose gender is neutral or unknown. In particular, tell students to
consider names that might represent non-western cultures or smaller cultural groups
in the U.S. or Canada.
How should I set up memos? LO 9-4
The standard memo format mimics block format but has no
salutation, close, or signature.
As illustrated on PP 9-14 through PP 9-16, memos are similar in basic
format to letters, but omit both the salutation and close. Memos also
lack paragraph indentations, always use subject lines, and sometimes
use headings. Though some memos are signed at the bottom with a
signature, most are only initialed at the top of the page, next to the
writers name.
Figure 9.8 (p. 138) illustrates a standard memo format. When
discussing it, be sure to point out elements that differ from letters.
Teaching Tip: Because memos typically are internal
documents, their format and style may sometimes seem more casual than letters.
However, students should understand that the same expectations for neatness and
consistency in format apply. “Casual” is not synonymous with “unprofessional.”
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-5
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
In-Class Exercise: Ask students to write a memo introducing themselves to you.
They can discuss their programs of study, where they came from, what they hope to
accomplish, and any relevant work experiences. Write a similar memo to them
introducing yourself. In particular, share with them professional experiences that
relate to business and business communication.
Like the second pages of letters, beyond the first page of a memo, use
a header with who the message is directed to, page number, and date.
Letterhead should not be used beyond the first page.
How should I set up e-mail messages?
Formats are still evolving.
Students can create e-mail messages directly through their e-mail program or by cutting and
pasting information from a word processor.
As illustrated on PP 9-9, e-mail formats are evolving but share some basic features. Most
e-mail systems prompt users for information like address and subject lines. Of particular use to
students will be the ability to create attachments—documents appended to e-mail that can be
opened using other programs, such as a word processor. Many students will find this a
healthier—and cheaper—alternative to faxing or mailing documents.
Like paper documents, copies can be sent to others. Cc and bcc denote computer copies and
blind computer copies, respectively.
Students should make sure they include a relevant subject line (often indicated by “Re” in the
e-mail program).
Teaching Tip: Many writers treat e-mail casually, not worrying about spelling,
grammar, or consistent use of capital letters, and texting and tweeting have,
perhaps, made the problem worse. Ask your students if they believe this is
appropriate in business. Do they view messages written using e-mail differently
than paper documents? Why or why not? How would they feel about a manager or
supervisor who sends e-mail with these kinds of errors?
In-Class Exercise: If you are in a computer-equipped classroom, let students
spend 10-15 minutes sending e-mail messages to a partner. Then have them
forward any messages received to at least two other people in the room.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-6
Module 09 - Formats for Letters and Memos
Students should review Module 13 for information on when it’s appropriate to use e-mail in
place of a letter or memo.
Last Word: Whatever formats for letters, memos, or e-mail messages students will
adopt in the workplace, they must make certain they stay consistent in using
formats. Having them adapt to one throughout your course will help them to
experience the steps to learning and mastering document formatting.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
9-7

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